Blackhawk DragBag review

Blackhawk
DragBag review
by
T
J Millar.
2 Para Snipers.

2ND
BATTALION
PARACHUTE REGIMENT
SNIPER DRAGBAG TRIALS
AFGHANISTAN JAN – MAR 2002
MORT
CERTA HORA UNCERTA

Stock
Specifications
Name Long
Gun Sniper Drag Bag-Weapon Transport Case
Description

The
Long Gun Drag Bag is made of 1000 denier NyTaneonTM. Hide away/detachable
padded shoulder straps to carry muzzle up or down.
Features:

Detachable/
hidden padded shoulder strap
Drag handle
Internal pouch for cleaning rod

Front and rear cargo
pouches with internal straps
#9
YKK zippers with zipper protective covers and (2) interior utility
pouches

Loops for Ghillie
attachment

Interior weapon securing
straps

Dimensions

Rear
Cargo Pouch Dimensions: 9.5” x 12” x 2”
Front Cargo Pouch Dimensions: 9.5” x 23” x 2”
Overall Length: 49”


Sniper
drag bag

The sniper drag bag used by 2 Para snipers was the standard issue L96 drag
bag. The bag is a very basic design and is not as robust as it should be.
The bag is prone to many problems, which included broken zips due to the
fact there is no flap over the zip to protect it so the zip is also prone
to clogging. The various straps that were supplied with the bag were often
replaced by 1200 lbs Para cord because the straps would often break or the
plastic clips would snap. The attachment points for the straps were often
poorly stitched and tended to come away due to this fact. The pockets prove
totally useless, as they have no locking system to stop kit from coming
out of the top whilst the sniper is pulling the bag on task. In conclusion,
snipers often tend to customise the L96 drag bags to bring them up to a
reasonable standard to carry out there sniping tasks.

Trial
drag bag
A drag bag was supplied to 2 Para snipers to trial
whilst on operations in Afghanistan. The bag was used for transporting the
sniper rifles and sniper kit on various tasks and used on stalks and whilst
deployed into observation posts. The bag proved to be a valuable asset on
all the taskings due to its outstanding design and robustness.

Pre
Deployment
Before the deployment all the sniper, kit was
checked off and packed into the black hawk drag bags. We were able to leave
the kit in the bags and move the bags around without fear of losing any
kit out of the bags because all the pouches could be zipped up. This meant
that the bags could be transited without kit missing when the sniper then
recovered the bag at the other end. The kit carried in the drag bag for
the deployment was as follows:

1. lxL96sniperrile
2. lx Schmidt/bender x12 scope
3. lx cleaning rod
4. 6x magazines
5. lx sniper cleaning kit (supplied by master chiefs)
6. lx maxi kite night sight.
7. lx spotting scope x40
8. lx personal cam net
9. lx ghillie hat
10. lx night sight mounting rail
11. lx spotting scope tripod
12. Spare ghillie
13. lx escape and evasion kit

Blackhawk
drag bag
The bags were loaned to 2 Para snipers in January
02 for the deployment to Afghanistan. On first inspecting, the bags it was
noted by all the snipers that the bags were well designed and that Blackhawk
must have listened to snipers when designing the bag. The detail that has
gone into the bags is outstanding the following points were noted.

I. The
bag is big enough to take all the snipers kit onto a stalk therefore easing
the load on the number two.
2. The bag is wide therefore preventing the bag from rolling whilst being
dragged.
3. There are plenty of attachment loops for elastic to aid in camouflage
with natural foliage.
4. The front of the bag has a webbing loop to attach a drag rope also the
front of the bag has a protective cover to prevent wear and tear.
5. The carrying straps can be stored when the sniper goes into his stalk
this prevents snagging.
6. The pockets are big enough to carry an array of kit, which comes in useful
when carrying night, thermal and spotting scopes.

The sniper drag bag
has many other features, which aid the sniper a great deal. The bag has
a full-length zip, which is protected by a press-stud flap so in the event
of the zip breaking the bag can still be used. Inside the bag, there is
a locking system to keep the rifle in place. There is also a pouch for a
night sight rail and cleaning kit and one for the cleaning rod so even if
the zip was open and the press-studs came undone during the stalk no kit
would be lost. The advantage of the full-length zip is that the bag can
be fully opened and used as a shooting mat when lying for long periods.
The bag is padded and would prove essential if the sniper was to deploy
into a hide. The comfort factor can be enhanced and the sniper does not
need to carry a cumbersome roll mat therefore cutting down the snipers kit.
The pockets on the bag are designed to take a lot of kit and there are locking
straps to prevent the kit from moving whilst on a stalk. The pockets have
zips, which again are protected by an overlapping flap. There are only two
pieces of Velcro which are not used whilst on tasks as they are used to
stow the carry straps on the bag, which the L96 drag-bag has a lot of Therefore
there is no noise when using the pockets, as the zips are silent when opened.
The largest pocket can be used for all the essential sniper kit whilst the
smaller pocket can be used for a trauma kit with enough room to cater for
drips, giving sets and basic kit. The carrying system on the bag is a very
well thought out design and enables the sniper to carry large amounts of
kit over long distances with little or no discomfort. The straps can be
adjusted whilst the sniper is on the move and the straps can be pulled tight
at shoulder level keeping the bag locked tight if the sniper has to run.
This prevents the bag from bouncing therefore protecting the zero of the
weapon system. There is also a cover protected by Velcro where the straps
are stored when not in use this stops snagging and also reduces wear on
the straps and is an excellent feature on the bag. The straps can be taken
out, clipped together in seconds, and stored in the same time with no fuss.


Stalking
The drag bag was used on a stalk, which lasted 5hrs. The stalk was carried
out over very rocky terrain and in very inclimate weather conditions. The
bag was packed with the following kit:

1. lx
L96 sniper rifle plus scope
2. lx maxi kite night sight
3. lx night sight mount
4. lx spotting scope x40
5. lx Sophie thermal sight
6. lx cleaning kit
7. lx cleaning rod
8. lx personal cam net 6fi x 3ft
9. lx secatures
10. Spare ammunition 7.62mm
11. Shammy leather
12. Escape and evasion kit
13. Trauma kit containing the following
Ia. 2x ltr saline solution drips
2a. lx heamacell plasma drips
3a. 2x giving sets
4a. 6x canulas
5a. 6x field dressings
6a. 6x creep bandages
7a. 2x airways
8a. various minor treatment kit

The stalk was conducted
under extreme conditions. The weather was a mixture of heavy sleet then
turning to heavy snow. During the stalk, the drag-bag proved to be excellent
keeping all the kit dry and securely locked in place. The bag never rolled
or turned whilst on the stalk and proved to be far better than the issue
L96 drag-bag. The pouches proved to be easily accessible with no noise,
no fuss, and the rifle was easily removed and the sight was dry. The bag
could not be faulted on this task and proved a very valuable and excellent
piece of equipment far out performing the issued drag bag. All the snipers
were very impressed with the high performance of the drag bag. The attachment
point for the drag rope is at the very top of the bag and at the thinnest
apex. This means that the largest surface is in contact with the ground
at all times preventing the bag from turning or rolling over on the stalk.
There is also carrying handles on the bag, which Velcro shut also aiding
in securing the closure of the bag. These handles would prove to be essential
in a contact situation as the sniper would not have time to release the
main carrying straps till after contact with the enemy has been broken.

Other
taskings
Other taskings included observation posts where the
snipers manned static hide locations for periods Lasting 10 days or more. During
this time it is essential that all kit is packed away at all times in case a
contact with the enemy is encountered. The drag bag provided a means of keeping
all the essential sniper kit contained together. This meant that the kit was
to hand at all times and the sniper could easily locate kit with minimum movement
and in low light conditions the importance of this is that with the need not
to use torches and keeping movement down there is less chance of a compromise.

Contact
During one deployment, a sniper and patrols platoon observation post came under
fire from enemy gunmen. During the contact the sniper team and a patrol gunner
engaged the enemy. Once contact was broken the teams moved to a pre planned
emergency rendezvous The sniper packed away the sniper rifle and withdrew with
his assault rifle this took a matter of seconds and the drag-bag was then carried
with the carry handles. Once the sniper team was at the (ERV) the sniper then
strapped the drag-bag to the top of the Bergen ready for an extraction. Should
the enemy have done a follow up and the sniper team have to extract with light
order they could have extracted with all mission critical equipment in the drag-bag
and left the non essential kit behind.

Recommendations
The drag-bag cannot be improved, as it is the best drag-bag that we have seen.
People suggested a camel back pouch but the camel back fitted into the large
pouch with no major problems even though we were carrying a large amount of
kit. There would be no need for a camel back pouch as it would be worn on the
man during the stalk.

The snipers also raised
the price of the bag, as it was expensive. However, the term you only get
what you pay for came to light when the snipers started using the bag. I
for one would be willing to pay the price for the bag now that I have used
it and will be asking Master Chiefs to let me buy the bag once the trials
have ended.

Overall, we are immensely
impressed with the kit and look forward to trailing the bags in Otterburn
and South Armagh in N Ireland.
Various units~ snipers including the ROYEL MARINES, The ROYEL ANGLIAN REGIMENT
and our sister battalions ONE PARA AND THREE PARA displayed interest. The
bags will be used on a sniper concentration in November where the bag will
be seen by the household division.

Blackhawk should approach
The ROYEL MARINE SNIPER SCHOOL and the army school of sniping at the specialist
weapons wing, Dering lines, Brecon. As these are the people that implement
sniper doctrine throughout the army

Summery
The drag-bag supplied by Blackhawk
and Masterchiefs
proved itself repeatedly in demanding and arduous conditions. The bags never
suffered with any problems whilst on the deployment and all the snipers were
immensely impressed with the drag bags. The amount of kit that can be carried
without fear of loss on a stalk by far out ways the L96 drag-bags capability.
It is the best piece of kit we have used thus far whilst in the sniper role.
All the features on the bag have been very well thought out and Blackhawk have
obviously listened to the people that mean the most and that is the snipers
who have to stalk and engage the enemy. I have used various drag-bags and even
had one custom made but I have never seen any drag-bag as good before and would
have to give it ten out often.

We are grateful that you
let us trial your kit and our thanks go out to yourselves and the team at Masterchiefs
for their continued support. I will be recommending Blackhawk
kit to all snipers and soldiers should they be looking for outstanding tactical
equipment. Once again from all the snipers 2 Para thank you for all you have
done for us.

Yours sincerely

T J MILLAR
MASTER SNIPER
2nd BTN The PARACHUTE REGIMENT.

Site
Links:
TBA

External
Links:

BlackHawk Industries

MasterChief’s

Comment
on this review in the forums


Last modified:
Wednesday, May 9, 2001 9:37 AM. Copyright 2001 ArniesAirsoft




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